The Baha’i Faith - Cal Poly CLA

The Baha’i Faith
Lisa Molin
San Luis Obispo, CA
Baha’i History
Central Principles
Originated in Iran in
Founded by Baha’u’llah
(Glory of God)
Preceeded by the Bab –
the Forerunner of the
Baha’i Faith
‘Abdu’l-Baha: the
appointed successor of
Incarcerated in 1852 in
Iran and exiled to the
Holy Land where he
passed away in 1892
He remained a prisoner of the Islamic
authorities during this time
Numerous tablets and letters that comprise the
Baha’i holy text
Baha’u’llah appointed ‘Abdu’l-Baha as the
sole Interpreter of His Teachings and Center of
His Covenent
He was imprisoned with his Father for 40
years of His life and later travelled to the US
and Europe to teach the Baha’i Faith
Central Principles
Oneness of God
The first and preeminent core principle of the
Baha’i Faith
Oneness of Humankind
The central pivot around which the Teachings of
Baha’u’llah revolve
Oneness of Humankind
Advocates unity in diversity, not unity in uniformity
“The gift of God to this enlightened age is the knowledge
of the oneness of mankind and of the fundamental oneness
of religion.”-’Abdu’l-Baha
“The well-being of mankind, its peace and security, are
unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly
established…He Who is your Lord, the All-Merciful,
cherisheth in His heart the desire of beholding the entire
human race as one soul and one body.” –Baha’u’llah
Oneness of Religion
“The Truth is one…the light is the same though the
lamps may be different; we must look at the Light
not at the Lamp. If we accept the Light in one, we
must accept the Light in all. The teaching is ever
the same, it is only the outward forms that
change.” ‘Abdu’l-Baha
Oneness of Religion
“All the Prophets of God abide in the same
tabernacle...and proclaim the same Faith…”Baha’u’llah
“Say: In whatsoever Books God hath sent
down do I believe….Between us and you let
there be no strife: God will make us all one:
And to Him shall we return.” -Muhammad
Progressive Revelation
Progressive Revelation
All the major religions are seen as steps in a
progressive revelation of Divine Will
each renews the fundamental spiritual truths of all
brings social teachings adapted to the needs of its
particular time and place
The teachings of Bahá'u'lláh are seen as the most
recent step in this progression
provides guidance to resolve the particular challenges of
today and to lay the spiritual foundations for a coming
world civilization.
Progressive Revelation
Religious renewal
Likened to chapters of a book; grades in school
Each successive religious system builds upon what went
before and brings new knowledge to address the needs and
challenges of the time
“…religious truth is not absolute but relative, that Divine Revelation is
a continuous and progressive process, that all the great religions of the
world are divine in origin, that their basic principles are in complete
harmony, that their aims and purposes are one and the same, that their
teachings are but facets of one truth, that their functions are
complementary, that they differ only in the nonessential aspects of their
doctrines, and that their missions represent successive stages in the
spiritual evolution of human society.” –Shoghi Effendi
Progressive Revelation
“Each of the Divine religions embodies two kinds of
ordinances….the first is those which concern spiritual
susceptibilities...these are essential and fundamental,
one and the same, in all religions…The second kind
of ordinance….is those which relate to the material
affairs of humankind…which are subject to change in
each day of manifestation according to the exigencies
of the time…”-’Abdu’l-Baha
Universal Education
Imperative that all mankind is given the
opportunity to receive an education
Once limited to the privileged in society
“There are certain pillars which have been
established as the unshakeable supports of the
Faith of God. The mightiest of these is learning
and the use of the mind, the expansion of
consciousness, and insights into the realities of the
universe and the hidden mysteries of Almighty
God.” –Baha’u’llah
The Independent Investigation of
The Independent Investigation of
Demands that faith be based on conscious
knowledge, not blind imitation
“The essence of all that We have revealed for thee
is Justice…is for man to free himself from idle
fancy and limitation, discern with the eye of
oneness His glorious handiwork, and look into all
things with a searching eye.”-Baha’u’llah
The Independent Investigation of
“We ought not to be embarrassed of appreciating the truth and
of obtaining it wherever it comes from, even if it comes from
races distant and nations different from us. Nothing should be
dearer to the seeker than the truth itself.”-Al-Kindi
The Independent Investigation of
“if…thou shalt seek the
Lord thy God, thou shalt
find him, if thou seek him
with all thy heart and with
all thy soul.”-Moses
“Seek, and ye shall find;
knock, and it shall be
opened unto you.”-Jesus
“Whoso maketh efforts for
Us, in Our ways will We
guide them.”- Muhammad
The Harmony of Science and
"Religion must stand the analysis of reason. It must
agree with scientific fact and proof so that science
will sanction religion and religion fortify science.
Both are indissolubly welded and joined in reality. If
statements and teachings of religion are found to be
unreasonable and contrary to science, they are
outcomes of superstition and imagination.
Innumerable doctrines and beliefs of this character
have arisen in the past ages.“-’Abdu’l-Baha
The Harmony of Science and
Religion devoid of reason is
in danger of degenerating
into superstition and
fanaticism, while science,
lacking a moral compass,
can be as much an
instrument of destruction as
it has been of benefit and
"Science without religion is
Religion without science is
- Albert Einstein
The Harmony of Science and
“The most beautiful and
most profound emotion
we can experience is the
sensation of the
mystical. It is the power
of all true science. He
to whom this emotion is
a stranger, who can no
longer wonder and stand
rapt in awe, is as good
as dead.”-Einstein
The Harmony of Science and
“All created beings embody the potentiality of
material perfection, but the power of intellectual
investigation and scientific acquisition is a higher
virtue specialized to man alone…the means by which
man finds a pathway to God.”-’Abdu’l-Baha
“Science is the first emanation from God toward
man…the development and progress of a nation is
according to the measure and degree of that nation’s
scientific attainments. Through this means, its
greatness is continually increased and day by day the
welfare and prosperity of its people are assured.”’Abdu’l-Baha
The Elimination of Prejudice
Prejudices are irrational
Take many forms:
Racial, sexual, political,
economical, etc…
Considered one of the greatest
challenges and major barriers to
“As to religious, racial, national
and political bias…all these
prejudices strike at the very root
of human life; one and all they
beget bloodshed, and the
ruination of the world. So long
as these prejudices survive, there
will be continuous and fearsome
The Equality of Men and Women
Historical suffering and
abuse of women and
Inequalities in the
The Equality of Men and Women
“The emancipation of women, the achievement of full equality
between the sexes, is one of the most important, though less
acknowledged prerequisites of peace. The denial of such
equality perpetrates an injustice against one half of the world’s
population and promotes in men harmful attitudes and habits
that are carried from the family to the workplace, to political
life, and ultimately to international relations. There are no
grounds, moral, practical, or biological, upon which such
denial can be justified. Only as women are welcomed into full
partnership in all fields of human endeavour will the moral and
psychological climate be created in which international peace
can emerge.”-UHJ
The Equality of Men and Women
“The world in the past has been ruled by force, and
man has dominated over woman by reason of his
more forceful and aggressive qualities both of body
and mind. But the balance is already shifting; force is
losing its dominance, and mental alertness, intuition,
and the spiritual qualities of love and service, in
which woman is strong, are gaining ascendancy.
Hence the new age will be an age…in which the
masculine and feminine elements of civilization will
be more evenly balanced.”-’Abdu’l-Baha
Work as Worship
Work done in the spirit of service is worship
“It is enjoined upon every one of you to engage in
some form of occupation, such as crafts, trades and
the like. We have graciously exalted your
engagement in such work to the rank of worship
unto God… Waste not your time in idleness and
sloth. Occupy yourselves with that which profiteth
yourselves and others.”-Baha’u’llah
The Elimination of Extremes of
Wealth and Poverty
“The inordinate
disparity between rich
and poor, a source of
acute suffering, keeps
the world in a state of
instability, virtually on
the brink of war…
The Elimination of Extremes of
Wealth and Poverty
…The solution calls for the combined application of
spiritual, moral and practical approaches. A fresh look
at the problem is required, entailing consultation with
experts from a wide spectrum of disciplines, devoid
of economic and ideological polemics, and involving
the people directly affected in the decisions that must
urgently be made. It is an issue that is bound up not
only with the necessity for eliminating extremes of
wealth and poverty but also with those spiritual
verities the understanding of which can produce a
new universal attitude. Fostering such an attitude is
itself a major part of the solution.”-The Universal
House of Justice
Other Teachings
The establishment of an auxiliary universal
Baha’i Reference Library
The Promise of World Peace- UHJ
Baha’u’llah and The New Era
Tablets of Baha’u’llah
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